What is a seed library?
A seed library is an institution that lends or shares seeds. The main purpose of a seed library is not to store or hold seeds against possible destruction like a seed bank, but to disseminate them to the public which preserves the shared plant varieties through propagation and further sharing of seed. Seed libraries usually maintain their collections through donations from members, but may also operate as pure charity operations intent on serving gardeners and farmers. A common attribute of many seed libraries is to preserve agricultural biodiversity by focusing on rare, local, and heirloom seed varieties.
This seed library will be housed within the Butte Silver-Bow Public Library at the Main Uptown branch. It will follow the current trend of seed libraries throughout the country in an effort to preserve the heritage of heirloom and local plants and vegetables. The seed library will also serve as a repository for a variety of heirloom seeds, sourced both locally and nationally, with an emphasis on preserving local Butte and Montana varieties.
The seed library will also provide community and educational resources such as seed saving and gardening workshops, community seed drives, documentary screenings, and more. Individuals will be able to check out seeds from the library, but the opening date is still to be determined. Community members will also are encouraged to donate or volunteer their time to the maintenance of the library.
Guidelines for donations:
- Seeds must be non-GMO (no Burpee or common seeds) or heirloom, with an emphasis on local and organic varieties.
- Seeds must be no more than two years old and must be in good condition for planting (dry, sealed, intact).
If you wish to donate seeds to the library please contact Marian at (406) 723-3361 x 6302. Please note: not all seeds will be accepted, especially if they do not follow our guidelines for donation.
BSBPL staff is excited about this new possibility, and we will update you with our progress as soon as possible. Happy planting!